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IT security biz Tripwire warns that a critical security vulnerability in some Netgear storage devices is going unnoticed by users, partly because the vendor has downplayed its importance.

Writing on his company blog, Tripwire researcher Craig Young says although Netgear issued a patch for its RAIDiator firmware in July to squash the serious bug, a Shodan scan of internet-connected devices suggests that “the bulk of [Netgear] ReadyNAS deployments have not yet installed the update.”

Out of a scan of 2,000 ReadyNAS installations, Young says 73 per cent have failed to install the relevant patch. He told Threatpost: "There’s a lot of room for people to get burned on this," since it would be easy for hackers to reverse-engineer the patch to discover the ins and outs of the programming blunder and exploit it.

The problem is, since Netgear didn't highlight the security implications of its 4.1.12 and 4.2.24 firmware releases, users have stuck with version 4.2.23. This, Young said, includes a serious flaw in the Frontview HTTPS web-management interface.

This vulnerability allows an attacker to execute malicious software without authentication, he said: “An unauthenticated HTTP request can inject arbitrary Perl code to run on the server. Naturally, this includes the ability to execute commands on the ReadyNAS embedded Linux in the context of the Apache web server.”

Since Frontview is the main interface, it can't be disabled, and Young added that an attacker can leap from Frontview to another Netgear utility, RAIDar, to identify all other ReadyNAS devices connected to the same network.

“If you are running ReadyNAS and you have not already updated, it is imperative that you do so ASAP, especially if your ReadyNAS web interface is one of the thousands that are directly accessible from the public internet”, Young wrote.

The Netgear 4.2.24 patch is available here. ®

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